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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

and that's a damned shame....

I first read Viktor E. Frankl’s, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” in a hospital, in Tokyo, Japan, in 1968. Seems I had inadvertently sprung a few leaks, and Tokyo seemed to be the best place to have them patched.

In the ensuing years, I have purchased at least a dozen copies of the book, and re-read it several dozens of times. I read, write margin notes, roll the words, thoughts and mental images around in my head, and seem to gain new insights with each re-reading. Without fail, I manage to ‘loan’ a copy to a friend, and, without fail, never see the copy again.

Frankl’s words paint vivid images of day-to-day life in a German concentration camp, during the Second World War. His words reflect, with crystal clarity, the price prisoners paid for their forced-labor-sub-human existence, and the psychological issues it generated.

One of the books most stunning revelations centers on the author’s realization of the unembellished essence of love. Standing in tattered shoes, on the side of an icy road, weak from years of prolonged malnutrition and brutality, a comment made by another prisoner made Frankl think of his wife. For the first time in his life he realized, “The salvation of man is through love, and in love.”

This isn’t a book report, but Frankl’s words, blended with today’s impending governmental shut-down, have forced me to wonder just who is running this country?  I also wonder if the herd of hypocrites we’ve elected are really varsity material, or simply a bamboozle of lawyers?

The math is pretty simple.
In America:
$ = Power
Power = Happiness
Happiness = Power + $

At the base of the American pyramid of success and happiness is money.
Lots of money.
Swoops and swoops of money.

Two of the wealthiest people in the world are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Each has enough money to finance whatever they want. Each holds considerable power, whether as the MicroSoftBoss or Mr. Berkshire-Hathaway. Gates is a renowned software innovator/guru, while Buffett is considered one of the most influential people on the planet.

Now, to be truthful, neither Bill nor Warren stops by the house much these days for a chat and a cold beer, perhaps because both are intensively private people. But, if the US math model is even moderately accurate, these guys must be the happiest Americans in history.

Oprah, Ellen and every made for television movie proudly proclaim that love is the answer. The Beatles sang, “All you need is love,” “And I love Her,” and, their hommage to US Congress, “Nowhere Man.”

“The salvation of man is through love, and in love.”

I cannot help but wonder where the heart of this country beats. It must be in power, because the only love emanating from the halls of congress is self/party adoration.

It must be in power, because true love rejects corruption and self promotion.

It must be power, because the definition of love is unchanging, and is not subject to the whims of political expedience.

Yep, for the home team, salvation is looking a little weak and spindly, and that’s a damn shame.

The lush, nurturing world of love cannot be bought, but power is for sale in every country, every company and every community.

And that’s a damned shame.

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